The Ski-LIft: a technique to help with ultrasound guided access

This is a repost of an older post from the old version of the blog.  The video is the original and a little older quality.  I plan to eventually redo the video with some additions; but for the time being here is the video for reference and education.


My colleagues and I published an article in Academic Emergency Medicine, the journal for the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, about something we termed the Ski Lift.  This is a method to help assist in viewing the needle during in-plane guidance for realtime ultrasound guidance for vascular access.

A brief description is presented here with a video, the full article can be found at:

Academic Emergency Medicine Vol 17 Issue 7 Page e83-e84, July 2010.

  1. Obtain a sagittal view of the target vessel
  2. Stabilize the transducer and brace your hand.  Then rock the probe to elevate the proximal section.
  3. Place the needle in the center of the probe (usually at the case seam) and under the probe footprint.
  4. Stop rocking the probe so the entire surface is again contacting the skin, the needle tip should be immediately visible.
  5. Advance the needle to the target vessel